The world is changing each day and frankly, it’s getting worse. The earth is trying to tell us something and we are failing to listen. The weather is changing: more intense storms more frequently, longer seasons for wildfires and the oceans are warming and becoming acidic. The largest coral reef on the planet, the Great Barrier Reef, has died because of the warming of the ocean. Some time ago researchers said that climate change was going to affect us in the future; the future is now.
We need to act now as a global community and devote more time to saving our children’s future. Efforts have been made with the Paris Agreement, which made history as the first time the world came together to combat the issue since the 1992 Kyoto Protocol, which included fewer countries. This was a huge step because we have known about this issue for some time now. The heads up provided us with a plethora of opportunities to stop the use of fossil fuels and put more research into renewable energy.
In a statement released by NASA in 2009 from 18 separate scientific attributions, “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.” Like it or not, we are causing the destruction of the earth. Our impact is causing animals to become extinct, sea levels to rise and glaciers to melt.
What confuses me though is the hesitation of switching over to green energy. Why are we still using the same technology and ways to produce goods since the early 1900’s? Whether it be through coal mines or oil refineries, it’s time for a change. We should start putting effort into energy from solar panels, wind farms and other renewable energy sources.
In Europe, car manufactures like BMW are going to have 25 electric and hybrid powered cars by 2025. But that is just a start. More companies such as Ford and Jaguar are planning similar tasks and France and England are planning on banning all gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2040. So why is there a problem with switching over to renewable energy?
First off: cost. In 2015 the U.S spent $14.5 billion on wind turbines and they only cover about 5 percent of America according to Leanna Garfield of Business Insider. Yet, our military budget was close to 600 billion in 2015. With no involvement in any serious war there is no reason to be spending that much money.
Instead we should be putting more time and effort into science and research to help better our civilization. Renewable energy is the way of the future and should be treated as the next big thing instead of a less appealing alternative. Climate change is affecting us now and needs to be treated with a bigger sense of urgency.
Quinn Robinson-Duff is an opinion writer for the Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]